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Sorghum Notes | September 21, 2017

Sorghum Notes | September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

Confirmation Hearing Held for Two USDA Nominees
The Senate Agriculture Committee held a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Steve Censky, the nominee for deputy agriculture secretary, and Ted McKinney, the nominee for the newly created position of undersecretary for trade and foreign agriculture affairs. The nominees only received questions from six of the 21 committee members during which they addressed key topics such as crop insurance, trade barriers, rural broadband expansion and climate change. The committee is expected to vote on their nominations sometime next week once they resume from the three-day Rosh Hashana recess.

The House is also in recess this week only having pro forma sessions on Monday and Thursday; however, GOP leaders are planning to roll out their tax reform plan next week once they resume Monday, September 25.

NSP Supports Passage of CREAATE Act
National Sorghum Producers strongly supports passage of S. 1839, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act, which increases Market Access Program (MAP) funding to $400 million and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funding to $69 million by FY2023. This measure, introduced Wednesday, aims to expand MAP and FMD to increase global export development, which can have a positive impact on U.S. farmer profitability and the U.S. economy. Funding for MAP has not increased from $200 million since 2006 and funding for FMD has not increased from $34.5 million since 2002.

MAP and FMD funding have expanded market access for sorghum producers, providing increased opportunities worldwide. These programs create access, increase the value of U.S. agriculture, create jobs and support our communities. Enhanced support for these programs will be instrumental for all of agriculture.

NSP Writes to Congressional Leaders in Support of Crop Diversity
National Sorghum Producers joined other agricultural producer organizations and plant science companies this week week in support of the United States contribution to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an international organization focused on the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. Specifically, the groups urged leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to renew the U.S. contribution to the Crop Trust in the next farm bill. The Crop Trust’s mission is to conserve crop diversity forever through partnerships with international crop collections and the failsafe backup for seed collections, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. In addition to its partnership with the international genebanks managing 750,000 crop accessions, the organization shepherded collecting crop wild relatives to improve access to seeds that may be more resistant to drought, pests and disease than currently available commercial varieties. The Crop Trust is also making crop collections information systems accessible through an open access software system for worldwide researchers. Click here to read the letter.

Sorghum Foods Donated to Houston Food Bank
Faith Smith, Consumer Communications Strategist for the Sorghum Checkoff, and Shelee Padgett, Regional Director, visited the Houston Food Bank today to deliver sorghum food products for those recently impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Nu Life Market assisted in gathering products from Pop IQ, California Cereal Company, Vegan Rob’s, G.H. Creators and Mini Pops. Donated items included 400 pounds of sorghum cereal flakes, 360 bags of sorghum puffs and 1,510 bags of popped sorghum snacks.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest

Put Farm Safety into Practice
As harvest begins for many across the country, it’s important to remember farm safety rules that will keep everyone out of harm’s way on the farm. This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week where the theme is “Putting Farm Safety into Practice.” Agriculture is among the nation’s most hazardous industries with a work-related death rate of 22.2 deaths per 100,000 workers annually according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help farmers and ranchers stay up to date on farm safety practices, the U.S. Agricultural Centers’ has created a YouTube channel where they have more than 100 videos on a variety of topics, including grain bin safety, heat illness, tractor rollovers and agricultural vehicle lighting and marking requirements. Click here to watch the videos. National Sorghum Producers wishes all of our farmers a safe and bountiful harvest.

Crop Update
By September 17, 84 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the coloring stage, three percentage points behind last year but slightly ahead of the five-year average. Nationally, sorghum maturity advanced to 43 percent complete by week’s end, seven percentage points behind last year and three points behind the five-year average. Nationwide, harvest advanced to 29 percent complete by week’s end, equal to both last year and the five-year average. Overall, 65 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week and slightly lower than at the same time last year.

Export Report
Export commitments were strong this week as China committed to purchase two million bushels. This brings total commitments to 45 million bushels, 21 percent of the USDA target just two weeks into the marketing year. In response, basis differences between corn and sorghum have narrowed considerably, with sorghum now even with corn in terminal markets in central Kansas and central South Dakota. Gulf basis is also strong with sorghum prices at 117 percent of corn.

Calling all Century Farm Owners
If you own a Century Farm, we want to hear your story! Please email or call 800-658-9808.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Sugarcane Aphid Not Major Problem for Prepared Texas Sorghum Producers – My Plainview
Some Traditions Need Preserved – Portsmouth Daily Times
Sorghum Festival Attracts Hundreds with Tasty Treats, Music and Contests – GoDanRiver
View from the Cab: Phenomenal Sorghum, Corn Yields in Northeast Oklahoma – The Progressive Farmer
Sorghum Silage Field Day Adds Nutritional Education to Crop Production – High Plains Journal
Alta Seeds Introduces Aphix Sorghum with Elite Sugarcane Aphid Tolerance – Farm Journal’s AgPro

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Sept. 26         Sugarcane Aphid Management Conference/Webinar, Corpus Christi, TX
Oct. 1-2         Texas Grain Sorghum Board Meeting, Austin, TX
Oct. 17-19      Sunbelt Ag Expo, Moultrie, GA
Oct. 17           San Patricio County PAC Lunch, Sinton, TX
Oct. 17           Rio Grande Valley PAC Dinner, Monte Alto, TX
Oct. 18           Nueces County PAC Dinner, Robstown, TX
Oct. 21-24      Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Chicago, IL

For a full view of calendar events, visit the NSP website calendar.

Market News – To view this week’s Gulf export grain report, click here.

Sign Up to Receive the Sorghum Checkoff e-Newsletter
Sorghum producers can also receive monthly e-newsletters from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. To receive monthly news and information regarding the Sorghum Checkoff’s efforts in sorghum research, education and market development, sign up here. You can also follow the Sorghum Checkoff on Twitter @SorghumCheckoff, on Facebook and Instagram @SorghumCheckoff.

About Sorghum Notes
Sorghum Notes is a publication of the National Sorghum Producers. NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry from coast to coast through education and legislative and regulatory representation.

Quote of the Week
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt